Changes due to COVID-19
Due to COVID-19 and public health requirements, Children’s Services and Child Intervention offices are not open to the public.
Child intervention staff and agency staff continue to work regular hours to ensure the safety and well-being of children, families, caregivers, staff and others during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Families and caregivers who are struggling with stress associated with prolonged periods of isolation, concerns about their health or finances should reach out for help from natural support systems and caseworkers or support workers when required.
For supports from Child Intervention, call 1-800-387-5437, or contact your caseworker.
There are resources for mental health and family violence on the COVID-19 info for Albertans page.
Learn more about reporting child abuse.
Information for parents of children in care
We are in frequent contact with all caregivers, including kinship and foster caregivers and group care providers, is occurring to respond to any concerns or reports of COVID-19 infection.
You might be worried about the health of your child. Rest assured that their health and wellness is our top priority. If your child is suspected of having COVID-19, or has been confirmed to have COVID-19, you will be informed as soon as possible and about what is being done to treat their illness. Please make sure your caseworker knows how to reach or find you.
Visits may need to happen using video chat tools or phone calls during the pandemic. Your caseworker will work with you to help you find the solution that works best.
Access to group or residential facilities is restricted to essential visitors and staff only. This move will help increase the safety of children, youth, families, staff and the public.
Contact your caseworker if you have any questions at all. If you cannot reach your caseworker, ask to speak with the caseworker’s supervisor or manager. If you are unable to reach anyone on your child’s case team, and you urgently need to talk to a caseworker, call 1-800-387-5437.
Call 911 if you or the person you are reporting is in immediate danger.
Child Abuse Hotline: 1-800-387-5437 (KIDS) to get help if you, or children you know, are being neglected, abused or sexually exploited. If you believe a child is at risk, you must report it. Help is available in multiple languages 24/7.
Child abuse, neglect and exploitation have many different warning signs. Learn to recognize them.
Who we are
Child Intervention is part of the Alberta government. Sometimes we are called child intervention services, child welfare or child protective services.
Our caseworkers provide intervention services in 7 regions and through 17 Delegated First Nations Agencies. Our work is guided by key principles such as:
- Your child’s safety and well-being is the top priority.
- Your family is responsible for the care and supervision of your children. With the support of the community, most parents are able to protect their children from harm.
- Keeping your family safely together is important.
- Your family can draw on informal community resources such as schools, public health, churches, youth groups, and other helping agencies to help you care for your children.
- All children and youth should be supported to maintain relationships that are important to them, be connected to their own culture, practice their beliefs and have a plan for their care.
- Indigenous expertise must be honoured and respected in matters involving their children, youth and families.
How we respond to concerns
We respond to every concern and work to support families in many ways. We cannot be involved in your family without you knowing about it. The length of time we are involved with your family can vary. We always try to work with you to address concerns as quickly as possible.
We make every effort to keep your child safely at home. If the child does need to leave the home temporarily, we work with you, your family and your community to ensure the child remains connected to familiar people and places. This includes making changes so they can return home as soon as possible.
Concerns about child abuse or neglect
If your family is referred to us, 90% of the time we are able to support you over the phone or with a visit to your home.
When someone reports a concern about child abuse or neglect, we:
- assess each call and referral
- determine if the concern fits the legal definition of abuse or neglect described in the Child, Youth and Family Enhancement Act
- provide intervention services only when the legal definition of abuse or neglect is met and you, as parent or guardian, need some help creating safety for your child
- refer your family to other services and supports when intervention services are not needed
We help you and your family in many different ways, such as:
- helping you understand how to keep your child or youth safe and well
- working with you and your family, extended family, cultural connections, community partners and others to address concerns
- developing a safety plan with you so your child can stay at home and be safe
- doing everything we can to make sure your child is safe when you are unable to – this may include legal methods that protect them by placing them in temporary or permanent care
- determining the best care options and supports to help you, your child and family if your child is placed in care – this includes identifying who in your family and support network could be an alternative caregiver if needed
- providing your child with services and supports when they are in care and becoming independent young adults
See how we help children and families after child abuse or neglect is reported.
Concerns about child sexual exploitation
When someone reports a young person being lured, used or traded for sexual activities like prostitution, we can work with police to remove the child from the situation. We then support youth and families by working together to identify services and supports they may need.
Find out how we help after child sexual exploitation is reported.
The laws that guide us
Child Intervention caseworkers provide services to children, youth and families under 4 laws:
- The Child, Youth and Family Enhancement Act guides us by:
- defining abuse and neglect
- providing guiding principles to guide how we support children and families
- outlining what caseworkers must consider when planning and making decisions
- ensuring the focus is on working with families to try and keep them together and healthy and how extended family and community will need to be part of plans
- outlining what needs to be done if children or youth cannot remain with or return to their parents and how extended family and community will need to be part of plans
- explaining adoption and private guardianship for children or youth who need an alternative legal guardian, including exploring who in the parents extended family and network may be able to be a legal guardian
- The Protection of Sexually Exploited Children Act (PSECA) guides us by:
- recognizing that children and youth involved in sexual exploitation like prostitution are victims of sexual abuse and they need services and protection
- allowing police and Child Intervention caseworkers to remove sexually exploited children and youth from dangerous situations and place them in a safe-house for a set period of time to protect them
- ensuring there are community services available to help children and youth leave a situation where they are being sexually exploited and not return – a young person may choose some types of supports, while others are required by law like being placed in a safe-house
- allowing exploited children and their families or caregivers to receive services without having child intervention status
- The Drug-Endangered Children Act guides us by:
- allowing police or Child Intervention caseworkers to remove children or youth from a home where parents or guardians are selling or making illegal street drugs
- giving Child Intervention caseworkers 2 days to decide if children or youth can return to the home
- The Protection Against Family Violence Act guides us by:
- providing legal ways for victims of family violence and abuse to be safe by getting a restraining order or emergency protection order
Learn more about child intervention and other supports through publications and other resources.